This is a topic for people, who like (or at least strive for) good self-organization and proper project management. It is always good to stay on top of tasks and have a good overview of what needs to be done, what is work-in-progress, who has the most tasks, what are the deadlines, some reporting and finally, what is done. And it doesn't matter what is the size of your project, whether it is personal or you work in a team. Whenever you have clear goals, defined timeline, and scope of tasks, you can achieve more.
I am using some of these apps for myself: I organize my personal tasks such as doctor appointments, documents, events, etc. Moreover, I am working in a team on several projects, so we need to collaborate and these tools are vital for achieving any goal we set.
Some of these apps I have used for a while, some I have discovered while doing research for this post. So, without further ado let's check out some awesome tools for managing tasks.
Please note, that I am not going to mention big, complex and expensive task management tools like Jira. Such tools are more suitable for bigger teams and are not that easy to start with right away. But who knows, maybe we'll review Jira too at some point, so if you're interested - please subscribe to our newsletter!
Trello is quite simple and straightforward, yet powerful. It was purchased by Atlassian, the same company, which developed Jira, Confluence (popular team collaboration tools used by bigger companies) and bought Bitbucket.
A lot of people are using Trello for personal tasks because it is so user-friendly. However, according to Trello team, their app is used by companies and organizations like NASA, Google, Adobe, National Geographic, Kickstarter and others. This means that it is definitely worth taking a look at.
The best thing about it is how flexible it is and how it doesn't force one way to use it on you. You can adjust it to your needs. In my opinion, the free version of Trello is perfect for personal tasks or small projects.
How to use
Here is how the main kanban board looks like:
At first, it will be completely empty. You can create more columns by clicking "Add another list" and come up with a custom name for it. Then add cards with tasks and if necessary lists within tasks. You can set description, due date, add labels, members, checklist, comments for each task. When you are ready to move a task to another column, simply drag and drop it to another column. If you no longer wish to have a task on the board, you can archive it.
The free membership plan is usually more than enough for personal use or for small teams.
- Power-ups: right now you can add a calendar, custom fields, maps (attach locations), voting on cards and more power-ups are coming soon! Unfortunately, you can use only one of them if you have a free account
- Possibility to automate cards creation/moving to another column/archiving and many other things. Read more about their Butler here
- Possibility to integrate with tools like Slack and Google Drive
- Very user-friendly app and website
- Getting notifications about changes
- Seeing the history of changes
- Setting different background images
- Possibility to copy aboard
- Assign a user to a task and check, which tasks belong to you
Asana is a very powerful and user-friendly tool to have all the details about your work in one place. People love Asana for its design, integration opportunities, timeline view, awesome checklists, endless awesome features. It is used by Airbnb, Deloitte, GE among other great organizations. So let's take a look at details, shall we?
How to use
You can use Asana in many ways, but when you have a free version, essentially, you have two options: List view and Board view. You also have access to the calendar, status updates, etc.
So with lists, it's quite easy: just add a task/a section and whenever you're done with it, click on the checkbox. Each task can have a person assigned, a due date, a description. Also, it is possible to attach files to each task (Computer, Google Drive, Dropbox - you name it), subscribe to notifications, create sub-tasks, add tags, etc. You can sort and filter tasks, move them up or down, like them, add the whole project to favorites. Another awesome feature is that you can even convert a task into a project.
Some projects look better in a kanban view, like below. Here you can drag and drop tasks around, rename columns, add new tasks and have the same functionality within tasks as in list view. Personally, I prefer this view. You can just mark them as complete whenever you're done.
- Amazing collaboration features. View your tasks in the way you like, attach files, follow them, message team members - Asana does make collaboration easier
- MY FAVOURITE: Asana has templates, ready-made recipes for your tasks or your area of business. Check their templates here.
- Awesome integration with tools you use: Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud
- Great feature, which is, unfortunately, not available in Basic plan: seeing your project as a timeline with due dates of each task, dependencies, and assignees. This gives a perfect overview of the project and lets you check whether you can make it before the deadline
- Very nice design of both the website and the app. User-friendly, interactive. You even get to see a celebration whenever you finish all the tasks, which is a nice touch!
Zenkit is not as famous as Asana and Trello, but it is great and can be even more powerful. This app is unbelievably flexible: you have access to list view, kanban view, calendar, table, and even mind map view. The last one is particularly fascinating. You can easily switch between views in one click! Print your tasks, export them in CSV format, get some add-ons, comment, assign members, customize.
The app lets you create workspaces and collections within each workspace. Download a collection and you won't have to worry about internet connection - the collection with tasks will be available offline.
Also, they have a great possibility to integrate via Zenkit API.
How to use
When you create a workspace and the first collection within this workspace, you will be able to start adding tasks.
These tasks can have a description, a due date, an assignee, some other features. Tasks can be drag-and-dropped anywhere. If you would like to see those tasks in a different view, just click on Views (here it's Kanban) on the upper right corner and choose whichever you like. It's that easy!
Awesome Mind map view - haven't seen this feature anywhere else. Very interactive.
- First of all: mind maps are mind-blowing. Great idea and can be very useful
- Possibility to download tasks and view them offline
- A lot of different views available in the free plan, including a table view, which can be used as a spreadsheet and exported as CSV file
- Various templates, adjusted for different projects, check them out here
- User-friendly design of the website and the app. A lot of features to explore!
Nuclino takes collaboration tools one step further and combines task management with knowledge base creation. The app focuses on creating public or private workplaces (everyone can come up with their own use of them - like separate workplaces for each team), creating collections within workplaces, adding tasks and knowledge bases for each collection. It really focuses on collaboration, so Nuclino is especially perfect for teams, but can also be used by one person. The great part is that you can collaborate in real-time, mention team members, add comments. Graph view gives an amazing visual overview of the workplace. Obviously, Nuclino can be integrated with many useful apps.
How to use
Once you create a workplace, you can create separate collections. I created a sample company CVH as a workplace and company's departments as collections, but you can do whichever way suits you best. Kanban board is easy to use, you can drag and drop clusters to move them, create new clusters. Clusters can be tasks or posts. They can be shared, exported, commented on, moved, archived, etc. Moreover, you have access to a history of changes and can roll back anytime.
Graph view gives you an interactive overview of your whole workplace. And it is fun to work with it. Just click on any node and you can open up details of that task/post. Also, it is possible to move nodes around to spread them and see everything clearly.
In my opinion, it is a great idea to keep the knowledge base and task management in one place. While you're working on tasks, you can always refer to the knowledge base. You can format posts What You See Is What You Get style, add images and files and more. This functionality could also be used for creating meeting reports, agendas or brainstorming sessions. The search bar on the very top allows to quickly locate any file you need.
- Interactive graph view
- Big focus on collaboration: editing at the same time and seeing other person's changes, sharing, mentioning people, exporting files, creating clear instructions and documentation. Instant search and internal links bring this whole knowledge together
- Possibility to create a Knowledgebase and manage tasks within the same app. The app can be truly adjusted to your needs
- Smaller features like version history, hierarchical tags, adding images and files
- Possibility to integrate with Slack, Google G Suite, Microsoft Active Directory, YouTube, Codepen, Prezi and many more
That was a lot of information! But don't worry, we can sum it up very quickly. Which task management app should you choose? It all depends on your needs and your project.
Trello is good to manage your personal tasks. I am sure there are great opportunities in the paid version, where it becomes Jira-like, but it is more suitable for big teams and big projects. I'm using Trello for my personal tasks.
Asana is great for project management, good organization (templates!) and seeing the timeline. In my opinion, this timeline is a particularly useful feature and if I had a bigger team, I think I'd go for Asana for project management.
Zenkit has an awesome feature - mind maps. I think it's cool for visualization and brainstorming. Also, there are so many views of tasks, so different people can work according to their style. Definitely worth trying.
Nuclino is perfect if you have a lot of documentation in your project. Manage instructions, email templates, meeting agendas and tasks in one place. And keep the knowledge updated in your team.
Let us know your thoughts! Which app is your favorite? Do you know any better app, which we haven't mentioned? Let us in the comments below or contact us on social media.